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Audi A6

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  • . . .have, IMHO, given both the rhyme and reason to my personal plea for all considering either the Audi or the BWM or any car with the big knob philosophy/design:

    Get Voice Command -- it is not a novelty, it works "OK" and if MMI is "less awful," it will become MORE less awful and certainly safer with voice.

    Without it, it is frustrating and DANGEROUS.

    Voice is great at its current level of sophistication which is to say, "not very."

    At a LIST PRICE of $350 -- don't even bother to look at a new A6 with MMI and the technology package without it.

    And, even though I do understand and agree with these posts, overall, WITH MMI there are 82 different controls on my A6 that can command the driver's attention.

    Some folks wish the center console screen could play a DVD while the car is moving! Wow! Talk about a fender bender (or death wish) waiting to happen. . . .

    Thanks for the "fair and balanced" posts.

    :shades:
  • Here here!

    I agree totally! My allroad configured just right was 43k with the bose, premium, and Manual.

    Drop down to the A4 and have a lessor Interior with less space, but have the 3.2 with manual? Or X3?

    Darn Audi for no more manual in the A6!
  • I have a new 2006 A6 with all the gadgets. I have also had a Palm Treo 650 for about a year (Cingular). It 'sort of' works with the A6. There has been tons of press about Audi and Treo being made for each other. I have put in all the Treo patches. What happens is that the first time I call out from the car (from directory) it gets confused. The call often connects, but then I can't disconnect, then car says "phone may not be properly connected". BUT, if I then wait about 5 minutes, the phone reconnects on its own and then seems to work fine until I turn the car off.

    Doug (and anyone else with knowlegde of this subject matter):

    I have a 2005 A6 3.2, with Premium and Convenience packages. I do not have the Audi phone cradle. Recently I purchased from Verizon a new Motoroloa E815 (successor to the V710, I believe).

    I can sync the phone manually to the car by manually pressing various buttons on my phone, however this takes several protracted steps. I have to pull over to do this -- you wouldn't want to try this while driving.

    While the car is running, the phone will stay in sync. But turn the car off, and sync is lost. Presently, I have to resync manually as described above.

    My question is this: is a Bluetooth enabled phone supposed to automically sync with the A6 as soon as they are in proximity, or is this manual sync up procedure part of the process? Also, does having voice control in the Audi have any effect on this? I am able to have very good conversations in the car (over the phone through the car sound system).

    What else could I be doing to get the phone and car to sync up more easily?

    Also, anyone have any luck with the latest LG bluetooth phone, with Verizon?

    Thanks.
  • I also just got a Motorola E815 from Verizon about two weeks ago. It is working great. Turned Bluetooth on, started the car, the phone ask me for the pin, it synced up. I usually keep the Bluetooth turned off to save battery power so I set up a shortcut to turn BT on and off. Now I get into the car and start up, use my shortcut to turn the phones Bluetooth on and it auto syncs from there.

    The call quality has been great. My only gripe is that the multiple numbers for a user in the phone come over to the Audi as multiple entries for the same person with no home, cell, etc. designation. The only way I have figured out to separate them is to create a voice tag so I can use a voice command to call a home, cell, etc, number.
  • billodbillod Posts: 31
    I was deciding between the Mercedes E320 4-Matic and the A6. I bought the E320. The MMI was the deal breaker. The A6 had too many input requirements for radio & HVAC changes. I ended up spending more money but (IMO) got a car with easier controls for the simple day-to-day items I use most. Hi tech is not always better, especially if it is not simple & intuitive. There is really nothing wrong with knobs (not buttons) for the radio and fan speed. Is the MMI cool technology? You bet it is. Is it simple and easy? Not yet. I ended up spending more for the E320 to get simple & easier switches - - - - and the Mercedes could still be made simpler and better.
  • I also just got a Motorola E815 from Verizon about two weeks ago. It is working great. Turned Bluetooth on, started the car, the phone ask me for the pin, it synced up. I usually keep the Bluetooth turned off to save battery power so I set up a shortcut to turn BT on and off. Now I get into the car and start up, use my shortcut to turn the phones Bluetooth on and it auto syncs from there.

    Thanks for the quick reply!

    Could you please walk us through the STEPS you actually take:

    You say you "turned Bluetooth on". Where and how did you do that? Do you mean turned something on the phone or on the car? What specifically did you "turn on"?

    What is your shortcut? What are the steps?

    Thanks in advance!
  • I ended up spending more for the E320 to get simple & easier switches - - - and the Mercedes could still be made simpler and better.

    I hear you! I hope that Audi hears you too!

    As I have stated earlier -- in my opinion -- the current MMI system in the 2005 A6 materially detracts from what is otherwise a superlative automobile.
  • My A6 is a 2006 model but that should not matter. According to a PDF file I found on the Verizon web site the E815 should work with multiple car kits including the 2005/2006 A6.

    OK, so let's see if I remember....on the E815
    Go into the Main Menu / Settings / Connection / Bluetooth
    Setup / Power
    Here you will see a POWER ON/OFF screen...to set as a shortcut hold down the Main Menu button for a couple seconds. This will create a shortcut that can be renamed and accessed from the first panel when the phone powers on. This then will allow you to turn BT on/off in a couple clicks.

    Back under Settings / Car Settings I set Auto Handsfree to ON.

    Then with Bluetooth turned on in the E815 I got into the A6 and started the car. Bluetooth should automatically go looking for a connection. Mine came up and said it found Audi UHV #### (this is a number) and ask me for the PIN (the default PIN is in the MMI user manual.) After entering the PIN everything connected. This information seemed to be stored in the phone and now automatically connects as long as Bluetooth is ON on the phone side and the car's power is on.
  • It is interesting that you picked the E class over the A6 partially because of "ease of use." When I drove an E350 I felt just the opposite. Every time I tried to flip on the turn signals I hit the cruise control stalk instead. I also found it difficult to see and use the small rows of "soft" buttons on the sides of the COMMAND screen. Maybe it is my "older" eyes these days but I also had a hard time seeing and understanding the row of identical size and shaped buttons at the bottom of the dash with the little pictograms. Of course this was just my impression from a test drive...as with any car you get used to the differences over time.

    While I do agree that MMI is not the simplest interface in the world I don't think it is that bad either. Maybe 28 years in the computer business has tainted my judgment. Since I got my A6 I have been "forcing" myself to learn the button layout with as little distraction as possible. I like the fact that the screen is high on the dash so you do not need to look down too far. I can feel the various shaped and placed buttons and select the one I want. Granted I still hit the wrong one occasionally but who cares. If you hit the wrong one then just select another one. If you practice you will find that you do not need to look down at the console.

    Of course this is a lot more work than a more traditional dash layout...but then again look at all the toys we get to play with!
  • billodbillod Posts: 31
    Well you're correct about the E class turn signal and cruise control stalks. I also hit the wrong ones occasionally. As I said in a previous post, I just felt the A6 MMI was a little more frustrating than the E class. The E class dash is not the best but I felt it was a little easier and less frustrating than the A6. It's amazing how one feature can make or break a sale.

    One other comparison. I also looked at the M35X and liked the car a lot. The interior was great and the performance was much better than the A6 or 6 cylinder E class. The controller was not that bad either because the radio and HVAC controls were seperate. The thing on the M35X that turned me off more than any car I've ever driven was the engine noise. It was more than excessive, it was just plain extremely loud. Infiniti calls it performance tuned exhaust. I called it awful noisey. For 50 large, I want quiet, not noise performance feedback.
  • . . .for MMI, etc., and I am including my own remarks.

    We are in the genesis stage of these control interfaces -- and I do think the systems are likely to become more complicated in terms of what they control and "more intuitive" if that could apply.

    MMI, Command, iDrive -- all have their proponents and detractors. I sometimes wonder why there are so many buttons and knobs but I can't turn the heat up on my seat without first pushing a button then turning a knob.

    Yet, I would welcome voice command of this function.

    Further, I would think if the system is smart enough to understand the word "play" that it would be able to change the radio station without first saying the word radio if the last function you were using happened to be navigation.

    I drive along, request navigation to a destination, the map displays, the radio does not mute or change and 10 minutes later I say "play spa 73" and the voice lady says "pardon?" or switches to CD, simply because I did not preface my channel change command, "play" with "radio."

    Moreover, all the gesticulations the voice command undergoes when I say "call so and so" seem odd -- when I say "call home" the voice lady says "do you wish to call so and so?" And, then I say, yes and she says, "dialing so and so land line at office." This may be of value if I had programmed a home, cellular and land line and office number into the system.

    I would like to suppress the dialog somewhat in this case.

    In the former, I would like "play" to be associated with either the CD or the Radio function.

    Overall, despite the primative state of the voice systems, I favor them, indeed demand them and request them for anyone reading this considering one of these cars -- Audis MMI may be "best of breed" but without voice it is a pain in the butt.
  • I think that you've touched on some important points Mark.

    What I came away with from your musings was first and foremost, what is still missing from these early stage (infancy?) control devices is artificial intelligence. That is, the ability to discern a verbal command within a certain context.

    As you have pointed out, and others have observed, on the Audi system and others, such as Lexus' voice control system, it is very easy for the "computer" to misunderstand a command, notwithstanding how many times you repeat that command.

    The need to preface each command with a very specific phrase or word is another problem that current systems face. If one were to rent the car for a day -- as opposed to owning it and having read the voice actuation command protocol -- one would quickly find themselves effectively locked out; that is, as far as verbally inputted controls, if you did not know how to preface your commands.

    I suppose one solution to this problem would be to increase the "vocabulary" that these systems work with. At present, their vocabulary appears relatively small.

    I do wish that the car companies would join forces and pool their talent as regards these various systems. In my limited experience, I think that the Japanese still have the edge in car computer/navigation/voice interface, with Infiniti and Acura topping the list. I sure wish that the German companies would wise up and recruit some of Japan's top navi (et al) system designers and simplify their systems.

    In the meantime, I guess we should be grateful that basic operation of the car, that is, starting and stopping the vehicle, is still under human control. Then again, computers and chips have already encroached into those areas as well.

    Let's hope we never have to contend with a HAL 9000 computer taking over complete control of our cars while we are zooming down the interstate, driving in a bad part of town, or worse, getting out of the car to fix a flat that the car's dash lights alerted you to, when you hear a familiar computer voice say: "What do you think you are doing, Mark?" as you hear the car doors lock!
  • . . .car with voice was a 1987 Audi 5000CS turbo. The only thing controlled by the voice way back then was the telephone.

    In those days "training" the voice recognition was required; and, then it was mandatory to repeat the word or phrase EXACTLY as you had programmed it. The radio could set the phone to "call home" if the announcer, song or commercial content contained trigger words, etc.

    Talk about primitive -- but -- it WAS hands free and eyes free dialing and it was 18+ years ago.

    Now, despite my peeves about "it oughta know" when I say "play" that "play" is NOT associated with Navigation or Telephone (also known as Phone), I did NOT have to train the system, it hardly ever makes an interpretation error and I know the state of voice recognition HAS to be to a stage that a simple routine could be written in the software that merely says sound if equal to "play" and "mode" if equal to "radio or CD" follow command. If sound is equal to "play" and "mode" is NOT equal to "radio or CD" search the "radio and CD" stored name tags for a match.

    Here in River City, I have WGUC programmed in as a name tag (the local classical music outlet). I say "play WGUC" and if I am in the radio mode it plays, no fuss no muss.

    Only in radio mode is the tag WGUC stored, in this case. In point of fact although it is possible to store WGUC as "destination" most folks probably wouldn't do this.

    So, MMI programming wizard: simply "hear" the command "play" and if the MMI is NOT in radio or CD mode, search the database for the word following "play" and if found -- play it!

    The "fuzzy logic" or whatever is used for name and speech recognition is way advanced over that miserable 1987 system and the above example certainly is not an as yet unwritten set of software.

    It is, most likely, an unimplemented program.

    Likewise, controlling heat, a/c and bun warmers (at least for the driver) seem a small step.

    With voice able to recognize 1-800-555-1212, perhaps letters of the alphabet could be added to make voice programming of nav, rather than name tag programming, a reality.

    I do believe some of the Japanese LPS cars do allow full voice programming of a nav destination. Correct me if I am wrong.

    I am a proponent, but I still feel sometimes like we're on the Beta version of this technology. :shades:
  • Does the Audi A6 have an IPOD integration capability? Is there an adaptor or docking capability allowing integration with the MMI system?
  • Does the Audi A6 have an IPOD integration capability? Is there an adaptor or docking capability allowing integration with the MMI system?

    None that I am personally aware of. The only "docking" feature, so to speak, is wireless Bluetooth; meant for cell phones.

    As to future iPod connectivity, that would be a nice feature.
  • Not long after replying to the question above, in the negative, I visited my local Audi dealership. It turns out that in some Audi models, those earlier than model year 2005, a glove compartment iPod attachment IS available. However, certain Audi models, particularly those with glove box mounted CD changers, do not accomodate this iPod accessory.

    It's best to call your local Audi dealership and ask for the particulars for your precise year and model, making sure to note how your unique Audi sound system is comprised -- to see if this iPod adapter can be succesfully installed and used in your Audi vehicle.
  • A few months back when I was about to purchase my 2005 Audi A6 3.2 I came on this board asking advice about upgrading my stock wheels and tires from 16" to 17" or 18".

    Fast forward. I have an order in for the Audi 18" wheels, 245/40/18. I am between the Falken Azenis 115 and the Conti ProContact Sport tires. Here's my question:

    I know that Mark has had 3 sets of the Falken's and after reading the glowing reviews all over the internet its not hard to see why. So obviously they are in the running. However, handling is NOT my primary goal.

    I am now so spoiled by the sheer comfort of the 16" Michelin HX MXM4 tires that are on the car now, that I really don't want to give up all comfort just to get those great looking 18's. (By the way, the Mich HX 16" tires do handle decently enough -- not sticky or taut, but not sloppy either).

    MY priorities for the new 18's are, in order: 1. Comfort 2. Low Noise. 3. Handling 4. Nice looking curb appeal.

    Tirerack suggests the brand NEW Conti's because they are a grand touring tire, are designed to give greater comfort and low noise + plus Audi ships them as factory installed. (Audi, making luxury performance cars, must have had comfort and luxury in mind when considering fitment for their non-sport models of the A6 -- hence the Michelin HX and Conti ProContacts they shod their cars in, including the 18" varieties). He says they would be a lot quieter than the Mich HX tires on their now. Plus, because they are H rated, will be more comfortable.

    Tires.com, who sell Falken, swear by the W rated Falken Azenis 115s, and would recommend them over, say, the AVONS or the Pirelli Nero's -- their top rated all-season tires.

    I know that H rated, touring tires may be anathema to some of you, but if you could, for the priorities I have articulated for my use, anybody got some objective thoughts and contributions to my decision making process?

    Mark: how would you honestly rate comfort and noise on the Azenis? Handling?

    Thanks in advance for input!
  • The Falkens are the quietest tire I personally know of.

    The Falkens that I had were summer only tires -- if they now are able to sport an all-season (read all-temperature) label, that is new news to me, but that doesn't mean your information is wrong.

    The Falkens were very definitely a fine riding tire -- harshness of any kind would probably be due more to the profile (40 series) than it would be the tire.

    Finally, the Falkens easily imbue the driver with cornering confidence. My personal test is a curve that I approach as a right handed sharp corner marked 15mph -- the combination of "Audi+Falkens" easily allowed me to take this curve at 45mhp.

    I HAVE NOT (yet) put new tires on my less than 10,000 mile old A6 3.2 with the factory 18" wheels and the H rated factory Conti shoes.

    The Contis are very quiet yet somewhat less than suited (in my opinion) to the suspension (stock) of my Audi. To compensate I NOW have inflated the front to 36 and the rear to 33.

    The ride even at this amount of pressure remains smooth (and quiet).

    If the Falken Azenis ST115 tires are now rated as UHP A/S, based on my experience with the Z rated summer only version, I would get them in a heartbeat.

    My second choice, since I am very likely to want UHP A/S rubber (again A/S means all temps rather than some other trait -- but their ability to run right in the cold contributes to their suitability for light to moderate snow -- which is, after all, what we get here in River City, Ohio) -- would be the Yokohama db2's.

    The Conti Extreme Contact (?) would also be on my list, as would the Pirelli PZero Nero M+S since we put those on my wife's last TT to great effect including tread wear.

    As we "up" the performance we usually have some deterioration of the miles per tire -- sometimes as much as 50%. I would think the Falken's lose 20% of their life in sacrifice to the "cause" of both performance and quiet ride. They are, however, much less money than the Mich UHP A/S tires -- so it is still a high value (and good looking) "shoe."

    Hope this helps.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    I'd go with the pro contacts. They're standard equipment on the new A6. I have them on my car (not an audi) as well. They seem to be a very good all season tire, and have a high treadwear rating.

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Continental&tireModel=ContiProContact&veh- - icleSearch=true&partnum=44HR8CPC&fromCompare1=yes&place=5
  • While I agree completely with your analysis -- I add, "an Audi A6 3.2 with 18" wheels and either standard or sport suspension, is 'under tired' with this rubber."

    That is from the performance standpoint -- so my bias is completly stated.

    Otherwise they are fine middle of the road tires -- I'd give them a C+ when performance is factored in, perhaps a B- if I am feeling generous.
  • I picked up my new A6 last weekend, and inquired about the Ipod connectivity. My salesman indicated Audi is in the process of developing a retro-fit for the current model but it is not expected until the spring. He said it would work thru the glove box cd connection, but I think this was pure speculation.
  • kgarykgary Posts: 180
    I put Pirelli PZero Nero M+S (18") on my 05 4.2 last week. Because of the poor snow performance of the stock all-season Michelins, I replaced them even thought they only had 10,000 miles.

    Its too soon to give a complete run down on the Pirellis, but they seem to be considerably better than the Michelins. They are clearly a huge improvement in the curves. They are slightly quieter than the Michelins. The comfort of the ride seems to be about the same. I have not driven the Pirellis in the rain or the snow. I am hoping that they are a big improvement over the stock Michelins in the snow. If not, I may have to break down and get dedicated snow tires.

    Kevin
  • Now, I am aware that I do not use dedicated winter rubber, so I may be somewhat saying do what I say not what I do.

    All Season tires can be OK in snow, better, in some cases, than non all seasons. However, the main benefit of all season tires are their ability to withstand both hot and cold ambient temps.

    The Azenis ST115 tires I had were termed summer only tires and I did use them year round IN ZINZINNATI. We are as far to the south of Ohio as is possible (virtually.) We have moderate snowfall generally. We have, usually, moderately cold winters. Summer tires are NOT really happy in the cold ( below 37 degrees. )

    When a tire designated as summer is subjected to cold temps it loses its ability to be compliant and flexible.

    It handles less well in the snow when it is below its temp threshold.

    I am a fan of all seasons if they are UHP all seasons.

    I "justify" my own contradictions ONLY by virtue of having a quattro drive (and now an X drive) car in my garage.

    Audi currently uses "high" not "ultra high" performance tires in its all season offering.

    These tires are great in a straight line and at high speeds for prolonged periods.

    They are no damn good for anything approaching spirited driving -- but they are NOT incompetent completely.

    Audis need UHP tires IMHO.
  • Audis need UHP tires IMHO.

    In addition to the Yokohama AVS db2 tire, who else makes an UHP all season for fitment on the 6 in 17" or 18"?

    By the way, I own the AVS db2 tire, and while it's a good, decent tire, I would not characterize it as particularly grippy. For that matter, I would not tell another would-be customer that this tire is deserving of an UHP rating.

    From a Tirerack test:

    Out on the road, the AVS dB S2 received good marks for ride quality and lived up to its intended purpose by offering low road noise, along with handling levels appropriate for the category.

    I guess my views on the topic at hand and the above road test comments suggest that a a question be asked: just how sporty can an all-season tire be, when compared to a summer performance tire?

    What criteria makes a tire an "Ultra High Performance" tire as opposed to "just" "High Performance", and for that matter, how much worse is a "Grand Touring Tire"?

    And what about service level and speed ratings? To what extent should they be scrutinized -- compare the stiffness of an H rated tire to a V or Z rated tire for example.
  • Has anyone heard of this very different tire? Are they selling it here in the USA?

    Read about it here: http://www.conti-online.co.uk/generator/www/uk/en/continental/automobile/themes/car_tyres/- - - medium/conti_premium_contact2/premiumcontact2_en.html

    It's reported benefits:

    * Shorter braking distances
    * Optimum aquaplanning protection
    * Excellent cornering stability
    * Improved driving stability and braking performance

    * Improved braking on dry roads.
    * Improved braking on wet roads.
    * Improved resistance to aquaplaning.
    * Improved handling thanks to asymmetrical tread pattern.
  • All season tires are sometimes called no - season tires for a reason.

    All season tires require several compromises -- as time has passed, the performance characteristics of A/S tires have improved. Most 3 season tires will perform better than their all season counterparts -- but "perform" is in the eye of the customer.

    For some, perform may mean miles to go from day one.

    For others it may mean year round usability.

    There is a phrase that has to do with this situation and it ends up something like [of the three traits] "pick two."

    Good performance (by your terms), a quiet tire and a year round tire: pick two. On three earlier occasions, I chose performance and quiet (relatively speaking) and ended up with the Falken Azenis.

    Finally, by the third set (all on quattro cars), we had a nasty winter (snowfall wise) here in our little corner of heaven -- and it was long underwear cold, too.

    I know of no literal tire damage these circumstances caused -- but during the few days of snow, ice and cold, even the mighty quattro system on a then fairly young allroad felt a bit overwhelmed. The tires almost seemed, ummm, "brittle" in those conditions.

    But the rest of the time the then Z rated Summer Only shoes were quiet and grippy. I think I paid $160 apiece for them in size 245 x 45 x 18.

    Driving home in heavy heavy rain last night, I cannot point to any shortcomings of the Audi OEM 245 x 40 x 18 all season Conti tires. I have not had them in snow -- yet.

    I think the car is under-tired. Yet, these tires have not risen to a state where I think replacement is warranted.

    For the American drivers (we, after all, are THE prime reason for these German mfgs to offer all season rubber), I still would look to the mainstream tire companies and go with their so-designated UHP all seasons as yet another compromise, but a compromise in "the right direction."

    This, for some, may NOT be the right direction.

    Heck BMW went down the path of run flats. Go figure.

    You can go to tirerack.com and select a "filter" to show you only tires that fit the criteria for A/S+UHP. There are 11 in Audi OEM size, e.g.

    There are a few -- and tires.com has a few more.

    Of course Audi uses a tire size that CAN limit the population from which you can choose.

    Don't forget it is possible (but be careful) to "plus zero" size your tires but be careful. You can also plus one size, but this requires more money since you will need new wheels AND new tires.

    Decisions, decisions -- and you thought choice was a good thing?

    It really is, after all. :confuse:
  • Good performance (by your terms), a quiet tire and a year round tire: pick two. On three earlier occasions, I chose performance and quiet (relatively speaking) and ended up with the Falken Azenis.

    My terms are: 1) comfort, 2) quiet, 3) handling; in that order. Picking only two, then comfort first, then quiet.

    All season performance is not an concern for me as I live in Southern California, where neither freezing temps or snow are a problem. We do have a few short months of rain to contend with but other than that, the seasonal weather challenges such as extreme cold, snow, and ice are not issues for most of us here in sunny Southern Cal.
  • I can think of no better tire for your terms than the Falken Azenis ST115's -- there are certainly several that would equal it (and probably some that would better it -- at a price), but factor in the Falken's street price, so to speak, and it rises to the top or is among the top tires.
  • I've had a recent problem with the auto climate control in my A6. None of the buttons (temp up or down, recycle, different vent locations, etc.) are working, it is stuck on one temperature, and stuck on one vent location (my feet). My mechanic says that there is a combination of buttons to push to wake the electrical system back up, but it's not working. Does anyone know what that combination of buttons might be or have any other suggestions? Is this a common problem?
  • Too bad your vanity desires 18"s as many 17's would do the trick regarding trade off of looks and performance.

    I am very happy with falkens myself. For the money they are exceptional! don't be fooled with the brand name thing, its very overrated!

    Car and driver this month did a big thing on summer tires and the goodyear eagles came out on top! I had them on an E-430 4 years ago and they were great! But at 12k they became very noisy. The Yoko DB's were better. Problem is I eat them up at 17k per set! 3 oil changes per set of tires gets expensive!

    Price is not an issue with me either as I want a quiet tire first. The goodyears are great for M3 or 911's, but too much tire for a touring sedan.

    Mark in cincy got this thing nailed a long time ago! He is giving you good advice.

    If not to late, the 17's are what your looking for.
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